Friday, July 17, 2009

Simple Pleasures - - Observing a Pigeon

The other day, I had a really bad work day. I work in the facilities department of a New York midtown office tower. My assistant is on vacation and my boss spent most of her time across town so I was essentially alone. Oh, and also the Chief Engineer was on vacation so suffice it to say, I was wearing a lot of hats. People were hot or cold, or water fountains were leaking, the Fire Department shows up for a surprise inspection, leasing agents wanted to tour vacant floors………..on top of all that I had around three meetings that day.

When quitting time came, I was out of the building like a shot. I caught the cross town bus then the ferry to Weehawken. Here is where simple pleasures come in. The seats on the ferry are aligned fore and aft not athwart ships. I was sitting on the port side looking aft when I see a pigeon strutting down the aisle purposefully heading for the bow. As he came toward me, I pulled my feet back and he continued his trek only to come across people who had legs crossed and extended in the aisles. The pigeon tried numerous paths to get around them but was not successful.

Finally, he turned around and walked back toward the stern. He looked up at me; whereupon I responded, “Don’t look at me like that, I moved my feet” People around me looked up and started smiling at the absurdness of it all. Then the bird headed to the stern. Not satisfied, he now took flight toward the bow (within the passenger compartment.) He had to beat those wings a little harder to get there since the Ferry was already moving at 8 or 10 knots.

Then, when he reached the bow, our gray pigeon, suddenly turned, landed near me and walked to the stern again where he took flight out of the rear door. The whole episode was pretty entertaining. It was good to see complete strangers laughing over the antics of the bird.

He came back the next day. But I think his comic days are over. He did a strut down one side of the boat then flew out the stern door again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Walmart wants to Pave over the Wilderness Battlefield

I wrote a letter to Walmart today. Short and sweet. It goes like this: " It has been brought to my attention that Walmart intends to build a super store on the Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County, Virginia. As a former National Park Ranger, as a Veteran and as a student of history, I find this action to be absolutely incredible. Please move elsewhere, you are utterly destroying American history with such a sensless act. I urge you to reconsider and move your plans to build to another location. Those battlefields have already suffered way too much, their presence destroyed by America's corporate greed."

I am stunned that something like this could happen. I once had a lot of respect for Virginians and their love of their state. I lived there for seven years. In fact for some of those years I worked as an Interpretive Specialist for the National Park Service at Fredricksburg.The Wilderness was the first time that Grant met Lee in May of 1864. He soon would discover what a fighter Lee was. The battle pretty much represents the beginning of the sweep known as the Overland campaign to Petersburg where 60,000 soldiers fell in about 6 weeks of horrific fighting. And Walmart wants you to trod concrete aisles on this sacred ground.

This much I know, if they win the fight to build there, #1 I will not visit Virginia anymore and #2 I will not purchase any more items at Walmart.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Press Release Zuni Tam found a home

N E W S F L A S H !
The City Council of Portsmouth, VA authorized a Memorandum of Understanding with the Zuni Maritime Foundation, Inc., concerning a Berthing Agreement for the former United States Navy-United States Coast Guard Vessel "ZUNI-TAMAROA" at the City’s North Landing. The City will provide berthing space to the ZUNI-TAMAROA at no cost and has welcomed her to become a part of their historic waterfront on the Elizabeth River.
This is the news and the situation that we have been working toward for these past seven years! Having this official, permanent, physical location to call our own will finally give us the ability to apply for the gifts and grants that we are eligible to apply for from federal and state governments. We will also be sending out letters to possible corporate sponsors requesting their support.
It is anticipated that the ship will arrive at her new home port within the next 12 months, after improvements are made to the North Landing seawall and the ship completes her ship yard period.
The location of the ship’s berth will be 0 Water Street, Portsmouth, VA 23705.
The ZUNI-TAMAROA is currently berthed at Pier 12N, Naval Amphibious Base, Little, Creek, VA. Please have a look at the photos showing some of the great work that has been going on!
NOW MORE THAN EVER, things are rolling very well in the right direction and we need your financial and volunteer support!!
Please contact us at 804-273-0247 or if you are able to volunteer your time and talent.
Please send your tax exempt gift to: The Zuni Maritime Foundation, P. O. Box 28042, Richmond, VA 23228, OR you can now donate directly via the ZMF website at
Thank you!